Thursday, March 27, 2014

Friday Ramblings: Adoption

Oh this life with our sweet children.
When it's good it's really. really. GOOD.
When it's tough-well. You all get it.
Today I have a GOOD thing to share.
I have made a friend through Instagram named Amber. 
You can follow her story here.
I met her by a common thread on Down Syndrome.
She has a sweet son and we like to rejoice over the hurdles our kids make together.

original vintage children's altered book page. 

She and her family have decided to expand in an extraordinary way.
They are adopting.
But, not JUST adopting.
They are adopting two baby boys, both with Down Syndrome from the Ukraine through the agency, Reece's Rainbow.
I dare you to read their story and not fall in love with them. 

oringinal vintage children's altered book page.  

I kept reading her Instagram feed and getting excited on the prospect of bringing the boys home.
To be loved and cared for in a way they will otherwise never know.
How could I possibly help?

original vintage children's altered book page.

Donating is always good, right?
But could I do it with a cool twist?
Make up some art on vintage book pages?
With special sayings?
With boys?

Why yes, I think I could.
So I did.
Each one of these book pages comes from a children's book dated from 1935 or earlier.
They have been covered with an Acrylic and Gesso wash and then hand lettered with black ink.

Each one is in an white mat, suitable for an 8x10 frame.
They are not prints, these are the actual book page.

One of these could be yours.
-includes shipping-
In remembrance of our children's extra 21st chromosome that makes them uniquely ours.

Leave me a comment with your email and I will bill you through Pay Pal.
There's only three, so act quickly!
Let me know which one you want by the title:
"Today Is Full Of Possible"
"Count Your Many Blessings"
"Be As Happy As Possible"

Let's do this and help to bring the boys HOME.

Many thanks to Amber, for allowing me to participate in this way in their family's incredible adventure.

Linking to:

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Little Travel Journal.

I mentioned on Instagram that I have finally learned a way to like riding in the car on long trips.
It all has to do with a small travel journal I keep. 

My friend, Lori, asked what I used and if I would do a blog post about it, as she is going on a long trip as well.

I'm happy to oblige.
Plus, it's a good blog topic.

I use a pretty basic journal, one that wouldn't be too hard to put together. 
Cut a long piece of paper, score and fold in an accordion fashion at equal measurements, then cut and sew in a few smaller pages, just for interest into various folds. Using heavy cardboard, cut out two squares big enough to cover the first and last page and then cover with paper or fabric on both sides.
Glue the cardboard to the first and last page.

Now comes the fun part!
My go to's in my old cosmetic bag.

First, a small plastic container with decoupage and scissors. IF you are in the car, that will work. IF you are planning on putting this on a plane with you and are NOT checking in baggage, this will not work.
TSA has a nice board with all the items they will not let on the plane. Small scissors as well as large hammers and liquids over 3 oz. are not allowed.  Personally, I wouldn't consider decoupage as a liquid, but what do I know?

Washi tape.

I haven't included stamps and an ink pad in the past, but  on this last trip, I threw it in at the last minute.
I ended up only using one or two stamps as they get lost easily in the car.
I don't think I would bring them again.
Looking back, I think I got really lucky because I  didn't drop the StazOn inkpad on the cloth upholstery of the rental car. 
Note to self: leave stamps and ink at home.

I heart, love, adore, like these pens.
A lot.
The Aquarelle set I got at Michael's and the Letraset Promarker I ordered through Dick Blick.

They are water color pens with two different nibs.
They flow well, you can add a color on top of another, they go over ink pens and when you bring a small water brush, you can blend them. 
Or, you can stick your finger into your Starbucks cup and smudge away.

I have found that when driving in high altitudes, these pens will not adapt very well.
While driving through Vail, Colorado, I took a pen cap off and had a large amount of watercolor came gushing out of the pen nib. It ended up all over the journal page, so I smeared it around with some water, so all was not lost. I also managed to keep it from soaking into the upholstery of the U-Haul we were driving.

not the best photo of the water brush, but you get the idea.

My favorite pens:
Scarlet Lime Doodling PenFaber Castell Pitt Artist Pen, a sharpie mini from Staple, a pencil and not shown, a gum eraser.

I use these in various ways.
Highlighting, journaling, outlining...
The pencil comes in handy when I want to try different fonts and I look up dafont.com on my phone for ideas.
I'll sketch out the words first and then go over it with either the Faber Castell pen or the Sharpie.
I keep them all in this handy dandy pencil pouch I got when I took a class from Christy Tomlinson, which fits into the main bag with everything else.

After you gather your supplies and toss everything into a bag, anything goes.
I keep carry-out bags from Chipotle, (the lettering is way fun to cut out) receipts, Starbucks bags, hotel room key envelopes, baggage tags, gum wrappers, you name it. It gets really fun when the people you are traveling with start handing you random items.

Sometimes I will decopauge the item onto the journal paper or use washi tape to keep it in place.
I might doodle around it, or color empty spots in with the watercolor pens and then doodle/write over that.

I do NOT eat at McDonalds, but the salad I had there was way better than the stuff we picked up at the Wal-Mart grocery store....

All of this wording came from a Chipotle bag:

Maps are fun to use as well.
Make sure your husband does not need it at the time of ripping it up to find your way back to the airport.

 I like doing this while we drive as I will continue talking with people in the car. Compared to burying my head in a book, it's a lot more fun.
I bury my head at times in the travel journal as well, but it does lend to more conversation as you can ask others what they remember and record it. Or write down different conversation topics, songs that you listen to on the radio, etc.

The last thing I will do is print photographs from my phone using Social Print Studio and put them on the smaller pages. They will print your photos from your phone and offer different print sizes. 
I like to use the ones that look like old Polaroids. They are a great company and send nice emails as well!

I will put photos on the blog of what they look like after I order them.

So, tell me...
What will you pack on your next road trip??

Linking with:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Adventures.

My girl is on Spring Break this week, so we are off on some adventures. 
I will catch up with everyone next Friday.
Happy 1st day of SPRING (tomorrow). 
I hope everyone back East is thawing out and seeing signs of green.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Friday Ramblings: Waving The Paint Brush

I don't even know what subject to ramble about this Friday.
So we'll talk paint.

In the midst of the last several, ridiculously crazy-thought provoking-make me wish I lived on an island-wave the White Flag kind of weeks, my saving grace has been paint. 

In between leaking toilets, drywall dust and floor fans taking over my house, I put paint down.
In between my child barfing and cleaning the toilets that do work, I put paint down.
In between wanting to throw in the towel, say I quit, and stomp my foot like a three year old, I put paint down.

When I can't even figure out my own emotions or how to express them, I haul out paint.
And while I do, it seems that time stops for a little bit and I can breathe.
I think about the words I have brewing in my head.
I think about the words I have read in the morning and the quiet that seems to be either deafening or elusive.

Other times while I paint, my mind stops.
I mix paint on a tray, I mix paint in my hands.
I look at color, I wonder what would be pleasing, I try a new stamp or a spray, layer and scrape. 

 I look at old photos and wonder about the people. The one on the right, leaning in. Was she especially sensitive? Was she missing someone? Was she wondering when it would be "her turn"?

In the scene on the beach, was it a wild and wooly, wind-swept day? The beach is empty. Did they skip school and responsibilities to play? Who took the photo?

More paint, more texture.
A pen here, a scratch there.
I want to throw out the clocks in my house and pretend there is no where else I need to be, no one else that will ask me questions, not worry about anyone or anything.

 Instead, I  grab another canvas, dig through old books and music,  look at words.
 I think about color.
I peel dried glue off of my hands and don't notice that my work station is buried.

All too soon, it's time to turn away and go back to other responsibilities.
Thankfully, the paint will wait for me and instead of waving a white flag,
I'll wave a paintbrush.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Friday Ramblings: late.

This week I found myself working on the Hello Soul, Hello Mantras class this week.
I settled in for some listening, painting, creating textures and learning.

Unfortunately, it all went south.

Remember the game, "I Spy"?
You begin it with, "I spy with my little eye something white."
Then those playing along would try and guess what you were looking at.
Can you guess?

Nope, not my painting in progress.
It would be the ceiling in my art room.
More specifically, the area ballooning out in the ceiling that was soft.

Three words you really don't want together:

Fast forward the story, our upstairs toilet had a leak that went straight down to the ceiling and Monday I will have people cutting out the ceiling in my art room and part of the walls and floors where the toilet is.

I have moved all the paints out, next will be the storage.
I have to say, I'm thankful for our weather, cause I think I'll be moving outside next week.
Stay tuned to find out.
Happy weekend!